6 beautiful timepieces with the understated alarm complication
Housing one of horology's most underrated complications, these mechanical alarm watches serve up timely reminders of key moments in your day.
01: FIRST UP
Recently celebrating its 60th anniversary, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Memovox was the first automatic movement to feature an alarm function. The Master Memovox Boutique Edition is inspired by a Memovox model from the 1970s, and features a deep blue dial with luminescent baton hands, housed in a 40mm stainless steel case. A little triangle at the centre marks the time at which the alarm (which sounds like a softer, and less shrill version of a regular alarm clock) is set to ring.
02: ECHOING ELEGANCE
The Heritage Advisor by Tudor takes its cues from the brand’s alarm watch from 1957, while incorporating improvements for our modern age. So, for instance, this new interpretation retains several of its predecessor’s features – such as its shape and proportions, as well as the design of its red alarm hand – but includes updates such as a sound-boosting titanium case in a larger size of 42mm, instead of 34mm.
03: GLOBAL HIT
Tailored for frequent fliers, the aviation-inspired Zenith El Primero Doublematic brings together a pair of useful travel features – a world-time function and an alarm. (A 30-minute chronograph rounds off its list of complications.) With all these functions, it’s not surprising that this watch, which is powered by the El Primero 4046 automatic movement, comes in a large-ish 45mm steel case.
04: IN THE ZONES
A second time zone display and an alarm function makes the Blancpain Villeret Reveil GMT a handy companion for globetrotters. Unlike most of the other alarm watches on these pages, which indicate the alarm time with a single hand, the time at which the watch will ring is shown via a subdial at three o’clock. Silver accents set against a white dial give this 40.3mm stainless steel timepiece a classically elegant appearance.
05: IT'S A DATE
Glashutte Original’s Senator Diary raises the question: Why have an alarm that can be set only up to 24 hours in advance, when you can set your alarm for a date that’s up to a month away? The alarm date is shown on the subdial at nine o’clock, while the alarm time is displayed in the window at six o’clock. Also featuring the brand’s signature outsized date, this 42mm steel timepiece is handsomely legible.
06: A FINE MELODY
If you’re a light sleeper who can be roused from sleep by an alarm that’s mellifl uous (rather than briskly functional), consider the Classic Sonata by Ulysse Nardin, which will gently rouse you with a cathedral gong. This 44mm steel timepiece is also equipped with a dual time zone display that is easily adjusted, backwards or forwards, using the pushers to change the position of the hour hand.